Real Life Rental Upgrades That Happened in a Weekend (or Less)

updated Feb 6, 2020
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(Image credit: Megan Pflug)

Renters seek the balance between wanting a nice place to live, but not spending too much on a temporary home or making major permanent alterations on a space that’s not theirs. But by zeroing in on a few simple and inexpensive — yet impactful — projects, you can really refresh a space without busting your budget or making huge, irreparable changes. All it takes is a few ideas and one weekend.

As always, we recommend explaining any proposed changes to your landlord or management company, and getting permission before you do some of these projects.

Above, Weekend Decorator Megan Pflug did a bunch of things to this bathroom, but one of the most significant was painting the grout a darker color. The bathroom automatically gained more character, and most certainly eradicated the oh-so-lovely look of dirty grout.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

The French blog Poligom shared their new adhesive backsplash, which adds a little bit of texture and interest to an all-white kitchen. Installing peel & stick tile is pretty easy and takes no time at all.

(Image credit: Spicher and Company)

Vinyl floor cloths lay like rugs, but are more heavy duty and durable. They can be cut to fit a space, which makes them a great temporary solution for small rental bathrooms. This vintage-style pattern is from Spicher & Co.

(Image credit: Classy Clutter)

Mallory of Classy Clutter got permission from her landlord to paint but instead of going with a solid color, she went with handmade “wallpaper” created with a Sharpie pen. She says it took two people about 6-8 hours from start to finish.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Kevin’s mini kitchen makeover included painting the countertops, swapping out the pulls, installing an adhesive backsplash, and changing the white cabinets to a subtle blue grey. If your landlord doesn’t approve of painting, just the new backsplash and cabinet pulls alone are enough of a refreshing change.

Re-edited from a post originally published 2.26.16-NT